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Uber charges Toronto rider $14,400 for a 20-minute rush hour ride

Surge pricing rears its ugly head for one unfortunate Canadian.

James Martin/CNET

You had best reconsider your rush hour Uber ride to Tim Horton's, because that last infusion of coffee and Timbits might cost you more than you anticipate -- at least until Uber recognizes the error.

Twitter user Emily Kennard reported on Dec. 9 that her friend was recently charged CA$18,518.50 ($14,400, directly converted) for a 20-minute ride through Toronto. The unnamed friend apparently attempted to dispute the charges and was initially rebuffed by the beleaguered ride-hailing giant.

Only after Kennard took to social media did Uber cop to its mistake and refund the ride. "There was an error, and we have provided a full refund. We sincerely apologize to this rider for his experience. We have safeguards in place to help prevent something like this from happening, and we are working to understand how this occurred," an Uber spokesperson told The Comeback.

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This incident is certainly not the first time that Uber has gone a little crazy with the surge pricing, which is what it calls jacking up prices at busy times, though it is usually relatively quick to jump back to the right side of history.

Uber has been in the news all too frequently in the recent past, however, with a wide-scale data breach and attempted cover-up, a contentious former CEO, lawsuits from Waymo and numerous sexual assault allegations against drivers.

(Hat tip to Autoblog!)